The Reverend Harvey Lee Friedel died peacefully on November 5, 2023. He was born on June 25, 1935 to Louis and Almeta Friedel in Yoakum, Texas. Harvey served in the United States Army and was sent to Vietnam as an advisor. He graduated from University of Texas at Austin in 1970 with a degree in Business Administration.
Harvey attended a Presbyterian church in Brownsville, TX with his brother, James and sister-in-law, Helen. It was through his exposure to worship, liturgy and theology in the local congregation that he discerned a call to ministry in the Presbyterian Church (US). Harvey attended Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary in Austin, TX and graduated in 1973 with a Master’s of Divinity. He answered his first call to ministry in a three-point parish in Haskell, Throckmorton and Rule, TX and was ordained as Minister of Word and Sacrament. Five years later, he was called to serve as pastor of First Presbyterian Church in Cuero, TX, his hometown. He faithfully served this congregation for many years before moving to Lawton, OK to serve as the pastor of First Presbyterian Church. In 1998, he married the love of his life, Debra Shandy, and retired from full-time ministry. He spent his retirement as “bonus dad” to Debbie’s three school-age children and eventually as grandfather to Micah, Liam, Ronan and Esme. Although honorably retired, the call to church service for Harvey remained strong. He served as interim pastor at First Presbyterian Church in Altus, OK and then at Greystone Presbyterian Church in Oklahoma City, OK. In his later years, Harvey enjoyed volunteering as a docent at the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City, OK.
Harvey was preceded in death by his parents, his brother, Larry, and his son, Stephen. Harvey is survived by his wife, Debra Shandy; daughters, Jennifer Friedel (Adam Pressler) and Cynthia Friedel; stepchildren, Frank Taylor (Taylor Taylor), Lillian Taylor (John Williams) and Fletcher Taylor (Susan Simkins); grandsons, Micah Pressler, Liam and Ronan Taylor and granddaughter, Esme Taylor; brother, James Friedel.
A memorial service will be held on Saturday, November 18, 2023 at 3:00 p.m. at Covenant Presbyterian Church, Oklahoma City, OK. The family requests that memorial gifts in Harvey’s name be made to a favorite charity of your choosing or to Covenant Presbyterian Church, 10100 Ridgeview Dr., Oklahoma City, OK 73120.